Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now
Fault Lines and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £12.50
  • You Save: £1.90 (15%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Fault Lines: How Hidden F... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £0.58
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy Paperback – 28 Aug 2011

22 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£4.54 £4.70
£10.60 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy
  • +
  • The Return of Depression Economics
  • +
  • End This Depression Now!
Total price: £29.93
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; With a New afterword by the author edition (28 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691152632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691152639
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


  • Raghuram G. Rajan, Winner of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, The Center for Financial Studies

  • Winner of the 2010 Business Book of the Year Award, Financial Times and Goldman Sachs

  • Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal in Finance/Investment/Economics, Independent Publisher Book Awards

  • Winner of the 2010 PROSE Award in Economics, American Publishers Awards

  • Winner of the 2010 Gold Medal Book of the Year Award in Business & Economics, ForeWord Reviews

  • Finalist for the 2010 Paul A. Samuelson Award, TIAA-CREF

  • Finalist for the 2010 Book of the Year Award in Business and Economics, ForeWord Reviews

  • One of strategy+business magazine's Best Business Books of the Year for 2010

  • Best Crisis Book by an Economist and Named one of Bloomberg News's Thirty Business Books of the Year for 2010

  • Finalist for the 2011 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize

  • One of Financial Times's Books of the Year in Business & Economics, Nonfiction Round-Up for 2010

"Fault Lines is a must-read."--Nouriel Roubini,

"[E]xcellent. . . . [Fault Lines] deserve[s] to be widely read in a time when the tendency to blame everything on catch-all terms like 'globalisation' is gaining ground."--Economist

"Like geological fault lines, the fissures in the world economic system are more hidden and widespread than many realize, he says. And they are potentially more destructive than other, more obvious culprits, like greedy bankers, sleepy regulators and irresponsible borrowers. Mr. Rajan . . . argues that the actions of these players (and others) unfolded on a larger world stage, that was (and is) subject to the imperatives of political economies. . . . [A] serious and thoughtful book."--New York Times

"A thought-provoking new book. . . . [Rajan's] voice is worth listening to."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"The book, published by Princeton University Press, saw off stiff competition from five others on the shortlist, to be chosen as 'the most compelling and enjoyable' business title of 2010. The final intense debate among the seven judges came down to a choice between Fault Lines and Too Big to Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin's acclaimed minute-by-minute analysis of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The book identifies the flaws that helped cripple the world financial system, prescribes potential remedies, but also warns that unless policymakers push through painful reforms, the world could be plunged into renewed turmoil."--Financial Times

"Rajan is worth reading not just because he was correct when few were but also because his writing is clear as a bell, even to nonspecialists."--Christopher Caldwell, Weekly Standard

"The left has figured out who to blame for the financial crisis: Greedy Wall Street bankers, especially at Goldman Sachs. The right has figured it out, too: It was government's fault, especially Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business says it's more complicated: Fault lines along the tectonic plates of the global economy pushed big government and big finance to a financial earthquake. To him, this was a Greek tragedy in which traders and bankers, congressmen and subprime borrowers all played their parts until the drama reached the inevitably painful end. (Mr. Rajan plays Cassandra, of course.) But just when you're about to cast him as a University of Chicago free-market stereotype, he surprises by identifying the widening gap between rich and poor as a big cause of the calamity."--David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

"In a new book . . . entitled Fault Lines, Rajan argues that the initial causes of the breakdown were stagnant wages and rising inequality. With the purchasing power of many middle-class households lagging behind the cost of living, there was an urgent demand for credit. The financial industry, with encouragement from the government, responded by supplying home-equity loans, subprime mortgages, and auto loans. . . . The side effects of unrestrained credit growth turned out to be devastating--a possibility most economists had failed to consider."--John Cassidy, New Yorker

"[C]onvincing."--Christopher Caldwell, New York Times Magazine

"What if the financial crash of 2008 was really caused by income inequality? Not greedy bankers, not reckless homeowners, but the ever widening-gulf between the rich and the poor? And what if the lack of social services--like health care--made things much, much worse? This is the startling new theory from Raghuram Rajan. . . . [Fault Lines is] especially fascinating because it mixes free-market Chicago School economics with good-government ideas straight out of Obamaland."--John Richardson,

"A high-powered yet accessible analysis of the financial crisis and its aftermath, Fault Lines was awarded the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Rajan . . . was one of the few who warned that the crisis was coming and his book fizzes with striking and thought-provoking ideas."--Financial Times (FT Critics Pick 2010)

"What caused the crisis? . . . There is an embarrassment of causes--especially embarrassing when you recall how few people saw where they might lead. Raghuram Rajan . . . was one of the few to sound an alarm before 2007. That gives his novel and sometimes surprising thesis added authority. He argues in his excellent new book that the roots of the calamity go wider and deeper still."--Clive Crook, Financial Times

"Few people were able to foresee the recent economic downturn. Raghuram Rajan . . . was one of them. This makes his new book, Fault Lines, worthy of consideration amidst the rampant speculation about the causes of the financial crisis. . . . Fault Lines is valuable primarily for its clear explanation of unintended economic consequences from well-meaning government intervention."--Washington Times

"Rajan's writing is clear and direct."--James Pressley, Bloomberg News

"Former IMF chief economist Raghuram G. Rajan . . . in his new book, Fault Lines, brings together and explains the diverse failings that contributed to the crisis--the fault lines, as he puts it, that were exposed by the events of the past several years. Rajan then puts forward broad policy recommendations to ward off a future problem. . . . Rajan's book takes a comprehensive look at what got us into the crisis and offers an intriguing approach to avoiding another one."--Phillip Swagel, Finance & Development

"I devoured Raghuram Rajan's Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy in a very short span of time last night. It's brief, well-written, and extremely interesting. I would definitely recommend adding it to your financial crisis reading list."--Matthew Yglesias, Yglesias blog

"The proposed global reforms that [Rajan] lists in Fault Lines run the gamut from the prosaic to grandiose. Along with revamping Wall Street's pay system, he offers innovative ideas on building capital buffers into the global credit system, obviating much of the need for bailouts of companies deemed too big or too enmeshed in the financial system to fail."--Barron's

"Economists who can challenge their peers while remaining accessible to the general reader are rare, but Rajan belongs to this elite group. No short summary can do justice to this well-written, insightful, and nuanced study."--Choice

"In 2007, then-chief IMF economist Raghuram G. Rajan delivered a stark warning to the world's top bankers: financial markets were headed for doom. They laughed it off. In the wake of the collapse that followed, Rajan has written a new book, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, that warns the system is doomed to repeat its mistakes. Like many defenders of the market, Rajan urges us not to demonize the bankers. But it's this fiscal conservative's focus on inequality that makes him stand out from the pack. The growing wage gap, he argues, is a hidden driver of financial instability, putting constant pressure on politicians to enact short-term fixes."--Toronto Star

"The critics are wrong: Raghuram Rajan's analysis of the global financial crisis remains highly relevant and deserves to be widely read. . . . The breadth of Rajan's explanatory framework--which is presented cogently and concisely within 230 pages of text--marks this book apart from many others that tackle the same themes."--Mark Hannam, Prospect

"Dozens of experts have explored the reasons behind the ongoing global economic turmoil, and Raghuram Rajan provides his own elegant and thoughtful analysis in Fault Lines."--BizEd

"With Fault Lines, Rajan has made an original diagnosis of the credit crisis, one that goes much further than those of greedy bankers or wasteful mortgage giants such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."--Christophe De Rijcke, De Tijd (translated from the Dutch by K.C.L.)

"A book that should be the default choice of discerning finance professionals when they enter the store the next time."--D. Murali, Business Line

"Rajan's Fault Lines is . . . expansive and policy-focused and clearly destined to become a must-read on any list of books on the recent global crisis."--Jahangir Aziz, Business Standard

"Insightful, educative and incredibly gripping, if you want just one book to understand the ongoing global financial crisis and the way forward, Fault Lines it is."--Gautam Chikermane, Hindustan Times

"Best Crisis Book by an Economist (2010)."--James Pressley, Bloomberg News

"Fault Lines has a strong claim to be the economics book that best caught the spirit of 2010. Raghuram Rajan's receipt of the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs annual business book award only confirmed his book's widespread popularity. It is not hard to see why so many people liked it. Fault Lines eschews hyperbole for a lucid and balanced account of the crisis."--Fund Strategy

"Rajan . . . comes up with original and important long-term remedies. . . . Rajan's book is a bold enterprise in three ways: firstly it aims to explain the US financial crisis by looking at deep, decade-long fractures in economies and societies; secondly it suggests well-known but radical solutions that few dare put forward; and finally it supplies innovative answers to practical questions. . . . [T]he book will please any reader looking for an inquiry into the deepest causes of the recession and a consistent account of government's errors of omission and commission."--Natacha Postel-Vinay, British Politics and Policy

"In a well-written, well-organized study, he focuses on ten of the most important issues bedeviling a still shaky world economy. Neither too technical for laymen nor too glib for specialists, the book ought to be a significant contribution to policy-makers' discussions of where we go now."--Joel Campbell, International Affairs

"Just when you thought you had heard it all and that there is not much more that we can learn from the recent financial crises, here comes a brand-new assessment from another angle. . . . Written with clarity and persuasion."--Good Book Guide

"[T]his book is a must read for analysts, academics, politicians, economists, and the like."--Emilia Garcia-Appendini, Financial Markets and Portfolio Management

From the Back Cover

"Fault Lines provides an excellent analysis of the lessons to be learned from the financial crisis, and the difficult choices that lie ahead. Of the many books written in the wake of our recent economic meltdown, this is the one that gets it right."--George A. Akerlof, coauthor of Animal Spirits and Identity Economics

"Amidst the welter of books about our financial crisis, Rajan's book stands out for several reasons: the author's intellectual distinction, his academic and real-world involvement in the problems of finance and the macroeconomy, his global perspective, his search for the roots of the financial crisis in America's growing economic inequality, and also his prescience. In 2005, Rajan foresaw the coming financial collapse--and was fiercely criticized for his insight."--Richard A. Posner, author of A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression

"Beautifully clear, cogent, and highly readable. This is the best book out there on the global imbalances that gave us the last financial crisis and might well give us the next one."--Kenneth S. Rogoff, coauthor of This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bowes TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
'Fault Lines' is an analysis of the recent financial crisis and its implications for the future of the global financial system and, more broadly, of global capitalism. It is written by an economist who was one of the few, and one of the earliest and most prominent, to warn of coming disaster.

Rajan, who is currently an academic, is also the former chief economist of the IMF. He is an unusual writer: pro-capitalist but clear-sighted about the need for effective regulation; writing from an American perspective, but with a deep understanding of different types of national economy and their needs and proclivities at different stages of their development.

The result is an outstanding book. Rajan writes with a clarity truly rare among academics, so that readers who lack a professional or academic background in finance or economics may finds themselves grasping the issues firmly for the first time. Each chapter concludes with a summary, so that even readers pressed for time may follow the outline of the argument.

In essence, Rajan argues that the 'fault lines' within our national and global economies that produced the crisis still exist, and unless acknowledged and tackled threaten a repeat of that crisis. Avoiding the temptation to blame the bankers - though he is unsparing in his condemnation of their groupthink and the indifference of some to the social consequences of their actions - Rajan rejects the idea that any 'quick fix' is available and diagnoses deeper, structural causes that must be addressed over the coming decades. I found his analysis convincing and his suggestions for future action humane and sensible.

There have been many books published since 2008 that have described - often in considerable detail - the evolution of the banking crisis.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TOVH on 24 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Given Rajan's pre-eminence and the stellar reviews, I must admit I expected a bit more. A good book, but breaks little new ground.

First, the good points. The writing is clear and accessible to non-economists. It starts and ends particularly well. Unlike a lot of commentary, the book is not a tirade against bankers, politicians or regulators and highlights the nuances of the debate around certain issues. For example, limiting financial innovation or banning prop trading will not prevent future crises. The most original idea (or fault line) is the link between inequality and the US credit binge - politicians motivated a credit boom to compensate lower income earners for a lack of opportunity. The author highlights clearly how well-intentioned government intervention to promote housing for low earners contributed significantly to the subprime boom/bust. This is probably the book's greatest contribution. The disparity in educational opportunities and the vicious cycle of poverty are points well made. That a weak US social safety net means recessions are intolerable and justify aggressive policy activism is also an interesting angle. The role of individuals following incentives created by the system (rather than just motivated by pure greed) is also well highlighted. The analysis and discussion of China is very good.

The book, however, adds little to the global imbalances debate, nor adds much in terms of ideas for fixing financial regulation (I agree with another reviewer - bit of a laundry list here). The analysis of Germany and Japan seems glib and incomplete (e.g. what about demographics?). At times it seems that Rajan wants policy intervention so that every country practically runs a balanced current account - is that necessarily good economics?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By JPM on 24 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found this book a highly stimulating read. It represents possibly the most thought-provoking contribution in the aftermath of the crisis that started in 2007 and that yet engulfs us. Let me first summarize some of the most salient points it makes, then talk about its strengths, and finally, why everyone should read it.

The epilogue of the book summarizes the book best - "The crisis has resulted from a confusion about the appropriate roles of the government and the market. We need to find the right balance again, and I am hopeful we will." The book presents two important government distortions - the push for universal home ownership in the United States and the push for export-led growth in some countries such as Germany and China that have left to massive "global imbalances", with some countries such
as the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain persistently being in deficits and borrowing from the surplus, exporting nations. While pursuit for home ownership affordability and growth are nothing to complain about per se, the book makes sharp observations that they are occurring at the expense of something more, or as, important. In the United States, the book argues, there has been a growing income inequality, which combined with a relatively feeble safety net for the poor, has created pressure on politicians to bridge the inequality. Instead of improving the competitiveness of labor force in a global market with changing mix of industries and required skills, governments have adopted the option "let them eat credit" (Chapter One's title). The presence of government-sponsored agencies in the United States enabled exercising such an option readily through a push for priority lending to the low-income households (sub-prime mortgages).
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews